Israeli Premier David Ben-Gurion confirmed Dec 21 that his Government is spending GBP89 million on building a second and larger research nuclear reactor.
Israeli Premier David Ben-Gurion confirmed Dec 21 that his Government is spending GBP89 million on building a second and larger research nuclear reactor. The statement followed consistent reports that the reactor existed - and replies from Israel that their only reactor was a small one at Nebi Rubin.
The same day, our cameraman was permitted to film the smaller 1,000 thermal-kilowatt reactor - looking rather like the fort in "Beau Geste" - at Nebi Rubin, near Tel Aviv. Until then security regulations had forbidden journalists to approach the area.
Confirming the existence of the reactor, - now under construction in the Negev Desert near Beersheba - Mr Ben-Gurion described as untrue reports that his country was developing the atomic bomb. He said the reactor, to be completed in about four years time, was "dedicated entirely to peaceful purposes."
He stated that it would serve the needs of industry, agriculture, health and science, and would give Israeli scientists and technicians the necessary experience to build an atomic power reactor in the future.
The Israeli Prime Minister made no mention of a report that France was assisting in the construction of the reactor. He said it was being built "by Israeli experts".